First Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD
11-12 February 2013 (Rome, Italy)

Taking place in conjunction with the 36th session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the first meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD marks the beginning of a new chapter in the IFAD’s engagement with indigenous peoples. To prepare for the Forum’s inaugural meeting, three regional workshops with indigenous peoples’ organizations took place during the final months of 2012, in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. In all workshops, participants emphasized the importance of ensuring respect for their distinctive identities and called for effective participation in all development initiatives on their land. They maintained that indigenous peoples’ involvement in the design and implementation of IFAD-supported programmes and projects would make them more successful and sustainable in the long term. In effect, they said, self-determination in the realm of rural and agricultural development goes hand in hand with the preservation of indigenous culture and identity. Another issue addressed in all of the regions was the need to build greater capacity in IFAD, its partners and indigenous peoples’ organizations, in order to scale up programmes and projects in indigenous peoples’ communities. Participants in the three workshops completed their consultations by electing the regional delegates to the first global meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD. Further information …